The five years that you will spend in Law School will make up a substantial portion of your life, not just professionally, but generally too. These are the years that most of you will spend away from your home and your parents, figuring out life on your own for the first time. These will be the years where you actually start, as the social media calls it, ‘adulting’, which loosely means assuming behaviours, responsibility and managing day to day errands and tasks associated normally with any ordinary grown-up. These tasks include managing your own expenses, taking care of your own laundry, etc. While at the same time it is these five years that are your formative years of learning law. These five years will ultimately decide the starting point of your career. So, you have to be wise and make the most out of them professionally, too.All of this together can be exhausting, overwhelming and confusing, especially in the first few months in a Law School. To help you have a balanced life in Law School, here are few lifestyle changes that you can make, to make your life easier (at least a little bit).
Plan and Organise
It is highly recommended that you work out a routine and get that routine into a habit. The routine should compulsorily allow you to attend your classes. Use a planner and plan out your usual activities and set goals for yourself, whether it is your assignment or doing laundry or getting your daily supplies, make it a point to write to down. Everything works better with a check-list. If you can make this a habit, it will not only do wonders for you in Law School, but also life in general.Set short-term and long-term personal goals for yourself and work towards them. Try to incorporate them in some form in your routine. Try to set small goals that you can turn into a usual practice and eventually make it a habit. For instance, waking up an hour before your first class of the day, so that you have enough time to freshen up, get ready, and pack all the things you need for your lectures.The time you will spend preparing a Planner or a to-do list yourself will pay off when you end up saving your time running around from pillar to post or just worrying about how will you be able to complete everything that needs to be done.
Work Towards Being Healthier: Physically and Mentally
Law school can be very demanding both physically and mentally and can burn you out if you don’t take care of yourself. Mentioned below are some small steps you can take to prevent that:
1. Getting proper nutrition is very crucial.It not only affects your physical well-being but it also affects your mental well-being. Since most of you will be relying on the food provided in your hostel accommodation, which might not be the best source of nutrition for your body, you can start taking supplements or include dry fruits in your diet. Most of the times students only notice the lack of nutrition when their hair or skin starts showing some signs of the same. You can easily prevent this by being proactive.
2. Eat your breakfast and carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. These two things are important enough to be emphasized separately. Both these things help your metabolism a lot and can help you remain active for the most part of the day.
3. Get your rest. Do not overwork your body. It is harmful to both your physical and mental health. Go to bed in time at night and wake up in time. It is not recommended to stay awake binge watching shows, etc. Instead, try to read a book. It helps in calming you down before sleep. While law school can get very demanding at times, and there is a good chance you will have late nights too. In that case, power napping is the best way to function. It gives you the required rest and helps you stay attentive too.
4. Exercise. It is not just beneficial for your physical health but also your mental well-being since it acts as a pressure-relief-valve for your brain. Plus, studying law will make your lifestyle sedentary, and that is not healthy.Use the facilities available to the campus, as most Law Schools do provide gymnasiums. Or take up running or cycling. You can also take up the sports opportunities and get to mingle with more people.
5. Do not neglect your mental health.You have to acknowledge that your mental health is as important as your physical health. If you are seeing signs of any problems in your mental health do not wait till you end up hitting the wall. Watch for signs of stress, anxiety, and depression. Take a break when it starts getting too much for you and find something relaxing to do. Do not hesitate in asking for help if you need to.Some tips that can help you in stressful situations are a. Organize and set up a routine. b. Learn to prioritize between tasks and pick your battles. c. Don’t procrastinate, it is a downward slope and it is very difficult to get out of it. d. Try to find personal inspiration. It could be a song, a book, a personality, a quotation, anything that motivates you to not give up.
Get into the Habit of Reading
Studying law requires a lot of reading. You will not be able to fully appreciate any law subject if you solely depend on what the professor is teaching you without supplementing it with reading on it. It is very important that you refer to a book written by a reputed author, a book which is considered an authority in the subject and also all the relevant case laws.This approach is not only going to help you frame your answers a lot better, and get marks, but this approach helps you get your basics crystal clear. Having a clear understanding of basic tenets and concepts in law is of utmost importance, as you will see for yourself, that all advanced forms of law somewhere rely on the same tenets and concepts.Try to develop a habit of reading something legal every day. It does not necessarily have to be a part of your curriculum. You can pick up a textbook, a landmark judgment, a critique of a statute, anything. This will also help you a great way to get used to the legal language.
Get Involved, Take Initiative
You will come across a whole lot of opportunities in the five years of Law School. It is best to not restrict yourself and try to get out of your comfort zone and participate in them. This is the best way to discover and enhance your skills and your talents.Getting involved in different activities like mooting and debating, etc. will help you connect with a lot of seniors of yours. These seniors can play a very significant role in your life at the Law School. They are more experienced than you and have seen the more of the Law School than you might have, and they are usually very helpful and can guide you.Connecting to people and networking is very important in the field of law, much like any other field. You should be involved and take initiatives, during your internships too. If you can build a rapport with an Associate or any Advocate with whom you work, it can be immensely helpful in your career. Often, the associates or advocates even help you secure internships at other places by putting in a good word for you. They might even ask you to intern with them again, which is a great sign. Therefore, it is important that you do not stay reversed and get out of your comfort zone.
Try to Be Cautious and Stay Safe
You have to keep in mind that liberty comes with certain responsibilities. So, while going to Law School, and living in another city might sound exciting, it also means being responsible for your actions. It does not mean that you do not go out and experience all you want to, but it is always better to be safe and cautious.As a college student, you will come across a lot of activities and you will have the freedom to enjoy them to the fullest because you do not have to go home to your parents. It is advisable that you keep a check on yourself and keep reminding yourself that you should be responsible. It is recommended that you do not get into any problems with the administration, as it will reflect on your record forever.Watch your habits. If you realize you are picking up habits that are not healthy or productive, change them. These years in Law School will also define your personality. You can mould yourself into whatever you want to be. Keep connected to your family and your friends back home. It happens more than often that you will keep losing touch with them, but you should understand that these are the people who will keep you grounded. The best way to do this is set a particular time for you. It might be during the day while walking down to the classroom or in the night right before sleeping, whatever suits you.
In the end, it should suffice to say that learning to survive in a Law School is a process. Some people around you might seem to be able to handle it better than you and it might look like a rat race. But you should prioritize yourself, and do what is best for you. You don’t have to be a part of a rat race straight away. Take your time and do it for yourself.